A fire on Auhay Drive in Goleta was caused by ashes from an incense burner which had been poured into a trash can with paper into it, according to Santa Barbara County fire investigators. No one was injured in the blaze, but two cats are missing. The department responded to a fire call at 4511 Auhay Dr. just after 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Smoke was visible from much of east Goleta, leading to multiple 911 calls to the dispatch center. Responders arrived to find a fast-moving fire that had blown out the windows in the front of the home and was already reaching to the attic. Four engine companies from the county, one engine from Santa Barbara city and one ladder truck company. It took 18 firefighters roughly half an hour to extinguish the fire.
The home lacked a functioning smoke detector. A resident became aware of the fire when he walked into the back bedroom and was met by the fire and smoke. The five family members were being assisted by the American Red Cross, and damages are extensive and “very high” in dollar value, according to County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Eli Iskow.
The smoke was so bad that when firefighters arrived, they heard a smoke alarm coming from the house next door.